The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Latin America especially hard. Even as vaccines begin to slowly become available around the region, infection and death rates remain alarmingly high and several countries are grappling with a severe humanitarian crisis.
As the situation has taken a turn for the worse, we at Google have asked ourselves what more we can do as a company to help COVID-19 relief efforts throughout Latin America. Whether it’s ensuring that people get the reliable information they need to keep their families healthy and safe, or providing financial support for the hardest-hit communities, we know there is always more we can do.
Today we’re announcing that Google is providing $33 million in new funding for Latin America, including $3 million in grants from Google.org, our philanthropic arm. The first is a $1.5 million grant for UNICEF, to support the urgent needs in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru for more than 580,000 people through health, nutrition and water, hygiene and sanitation programs. The second is a $1 million grant for Amigos do Bem in Brazil to help get food supplies and clean drinking water to more than 8,500 families in need. In addition, we’re distributing $500,000 among other nonprofits across Latin America to get aid to communities in need.
Today’s announcement also includes increased Ad Grants support for public health information campaigns in Latin America. We’re making available an additional $30 million in Ad Grants to the Pan American Health Organization through the WHO, local health authorities and nonprofits to help spread accurate and useful information on vaccines and how to stay safe.
This support builds on over $6 million in Google.org grants for education, economic recovery and relief efforts across Latin America since the pandemic began, including a recent $1 million grant for Gerando Falcões in Brazil to provide families in need with food supplies. More than 1,000 Googlers have also contributed over $380,000 in donations and company match to support the Gerando Falcões initiative.
We know that one of the biggest ways we can help is through our core information products like Search, Maps and YouTube. Our COVID-19 information panels on Search and YouTube are available throughout Latin America in Spanish and Portuguese, providing reliable and timely content for our users. We also recently announced vaccination sites in Search and Maps in Brazil, Chile and Mexico, and we’re working to do the same in other countries in the region as well.
On YouTube, we’re taking steps to raise up authoritative information and reduce coronavirus misinformation, while also teaming up with creators and health experts to clarify facts and dispel myths about COVID-19. And throughout the pandemic Google for Education has provided online education solutions to some 37 million monthly active teachers and students in Latin America.
Google will continue to work with local governments, partners and communities to give everyone the tools they need to stay healthy and safe, and fight for a better tomorrow. We’re inspired by these organizations on the front lines, and are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to their efforts.